Prof. Maria McNamara

I’m a palaeobiologist working on the preservation of soft tissues in fossil animals. Much of my current research focuses on the preservation of colour in fossil insects and vertebrates. I am also interested in fossil preservation more broadly, including the skeletal taphonomy of fossils and the environmental and biological controls on preservation. Recent research highlights include the discovery of diverse feathers in a primitive ornithischian dinosaur from the Siberian Jurassic and a reevaluation of the genesis of the “Chinese Pompeii” – the Early Cretaceous Lujiatun fossil locality renowned for preservation of articulated skeletons of dinosaurs and early birds. A summary of my research can be found here.

Wiley Analytical Science profile: (credit to Rebecca Pool at Wiley Analytical Science)


My full list of publications can be found here.


2020: Professor, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland.

2016 – 2020: Senior Lecturer in Geology, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland.

2013 – 2016: College Lecturer, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, University College Cork (UCC), Ireland.

2012 – 2013: Postdoctoral researcher, School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.

2009 – 2012: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Geology & Geophysics, Yale University, USA.

2008 – 2009: Geopark Geologist, Geological Survey of Ireland.

2006 – 2008: IRCSET Postdoctoral Fellow, UCD School of Geological Sciences, University College Dublin.

2007: PhD, University College Dublin.  PhD Thesis: “Comparative taphonomy of lacustrine-hosted exceptional faunas from the Miocene of NE Spain”.

2002: BSc (Hons) 1:1, Earth Science, Dept. of Geology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.